(Blackwood, NJ) – On Tuesday, the Commissioners gathered at the Lakeland Vineyard to unveil the vineyard’s third crop of chambourcin grapes with a 15% yield over last year. The county’s vineyard sits on an acre of land and its second crop last year yielded about 6,000 pounds of
grapes. This year the county will be harvesting more than 7,000 pounds of grapes from the Sustainability Campus.
“We continue to see an explosion of wine making and accolades for Camden County wineries throughout the nation and the state,” said Commissioner Director Louis Cappelli Jr. “This growing industry is creating new jobs and opportunities for our local workforce. In addition, this vineyard
also creates a marketplace for locally grown grapes.”
In 2019, the Board of Commissioners wanted to support an expanding industry in Camden County which was the ever-growing wine making sector. Wine growers were creating jobs, creating a product unique to the county and creating community through their small businesses. Based on that
objective, former fallow open space, that was once used as a makeshift farm, was repurposed for the vineyard and is now in year two has had record harvest.
“This program has produced a bumper crop this year and our intentions are to expand our outer costal wine making so our producers have the right number of local grapes to keep up with demand,” said Commissioner Jonathan Young, liaison to the Camden County Office of Sustainability. “
VineTech was hired by the county to plant and maintain the vineyard when it initially opened. The vineyard is comprised of chambourcin, a variety of grape that is one of the world’s most popular hybrid varieties and is noted for its distinctive dark coloring and herbaceous aroma. This
vineyard supports the rapidly growing wine industry in the state and once harvested, the grapes will be put out for bid and sold to the highest bidder.
“The vineyard is an asset to the township and an amenity for residents to see the progress of our local wine makers here in the county and the region,” said Gloucester Township Mayor David Mayer. “There is no question in my mind that South Jersey wines are becoming a serious contender in
the international marketplace and we are proud to have some of our very own grapes involved in the process.”
On October 2, the publication Inside Hook wrote that New Jersey was one of the most underrated wine regions in the nation. Take a look at the article here- www.insidehook.com.
Camden County and the South Jersey region have proven to be reputable wine producers, with two Winslow wineries – White Horse and Sharrott – winning statewide awards in the 2022 Governor’s Cup Tasting Awards.
Wineries are booming across the county with no sign of slowing as the Saddlehill Winery in Voorhees, which was built on the site of the protected forever farm Stafford Farms at the corner of Evesham and White Horse roads, is set to open its doors in the Spring. The 70-acre plot of land was
transformed into a winery, vineyard and flower farm that will feature a 7,000 square-foot tasting room feat. charcuterie and tapas-style food, tours, small-scale equine breeding operation, a new 4,320-square-foot barn and seasonal fruit harvests like strawberries and pumpkins.
“The Camden County chambourcin harvest marks the commencement of festivities one month ahead of the 2023 NJ Wine Week,” said Devon Perry, executive director of the Garden State Wine Growers Association. “This event stands as a testament to the unwavering dedication of the
individuals tending to the New Jersey wine country vines. With their hard work, we are poised for an exceptional season and the promise of future, delectable vintages. Cheers to New Jersey wines.”